By Vanessa J. Hawthorne
CCC Journalism Program
BLACKWOOD – Dr. Richard Carney, professor of computer science at Camden County College, will retire this May after teaching for 44 years.
Carney is a graduate of Audubon High School and attended La Salle University, Rowan University, Rutgers University, The University of Pennsylvania, Wilmington University and Princeton University.
“I am a lifelong learner. I went to school continuously for 28 years,” Carney says.
Carney began his teaching career in September 1969. Over the years, he has taught at many schools: Germantown High School, Deptford High School, Cherry Hill High School East, St. James High School, Salem Community College, Rowan University, The University of Pennsylvania and Camden County College. He has written 17 books on the subjects of mathematics and computer science; they have been used by 40,000 schools in the United States.
“This is what I was born to do. If I had to do it all over again, I would do the same thing. I can’t imagine doing anything else,” Carney says.
He decided to become a teacher because, he says, “My father worked in a factory, and the only other adults I knew were my teachers. I liked my teachers, so I decided to become a teacher when I was 14 years old in the eighth grade. I watched my teachers, learned what I liked about their teaching style and what I didn’t like. I used them as my trainers.”
Carney became interested in computer science while he was studying at Rowan University. “I was working on my master’s degree in community college teaching of mathematics, and I had to take two computer programming classes,” he says.
Carney says the least favorite experience of his teaching career was an incident that required him to remove a student from his classroom, something that has happened only once in his career.
“That is the biggest problem in all of education. You can’t teach properly if you have to discipline students with no focus or idea of where they’re going,” Carney says. “This is the major reason I moved from teaching at high school to higher education. Here, I get to teach with minimal disruptions.”
Each year, Carney sponsors a scholarship called the Carney/Keating Award. This award is dedicated to the memory of his parents, William Carney and Elizabeth Keating. This scholarship is presented during the graduation ceremonies to a student who has excelled in their computer science or computer information systems degree program.
“My fondest teaching memory will be the satisfaction of seeing students graduating. Over the years I have taught more than 10,000 students throughout New Jersey, and I’ve gotten hundreds of thank you emails for steering students in the right direction,” Carney states.
Carney’s words of advice to Camden County College students are: “This is your big chance; take advantage of it and fulfill your potential. The grades on your transcript will be with you for the rest of your life. Try to do your best every single day. Those who work hard always seem to get lucky.”